Farmworkers testify at Griekwastad murder trial

2013-11-05 14:45
Journalists take notes at the Griekwastad murder trial. (Picture:Volksblad)

Journalists take notes at the Griekwastad murder trial. (Picture:Volksblad)

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Kimberley - Workers on the Steenkamp farm started drinking home-made beer on the morning of Good Friday in Griekwastad last year, the Northern Cape High Court heard on Tuesday.

They caught a lift to town with murdered farmer Deon Steenkamp and his family, who were on their way to church, on 6 April 2012.

Northern Cape Judge President Frans Kgomo was hearing evidence in the murder trial of a 17-year-old youth accused of murdering Steenkamp, 44, his wife Christelle, 43, and daughter Marthella, 14.

They were allegedly murdered around 18:00 that day on their farm Naauwhoek, near Griekwastad.

State witness Martha Watermond, who is known in Griekwastad as "Voetpad", said she worked in the house on the farm and baked cookies.

Christelle Steenkamp had a cookie business on the farm.

Watermond testified that she spent some time in town.

She and another farmworker’s wife, Katrina, then bought petrol worth R40 for Jannie Koopman, known as "Makazol", to take them back to the farm in his Nissan 1400 bakkie.

"We would take 'gemmer' out," she said, explaining that gemmer was a home-made beer.

"You get drunk if you drink that," she said.

Watermond told the court that, by the time they left town with Koopman, they were already under the influence of alcohol.

Testifying at the police station

During the testimony about all the drinking, Kgomo interrupted to ask whether they had eaten anything. Watermond replied that they had.

Testifying about what happened at the police station later that night, Watermond said she passed out there on hearing of the Steenkamp murders.

"I shock [sic] myself sober," she said.

She woke up in hospital only the next day.

The court heard that the drinking had continued at the farmworkers' house at Naauwhoek.

Koopman and two others from town had tried to fix his bakkie, because the exhaust had fallen off on the road to the farm.

Farmworker Abraham van Rooy, known as "Ou Hen", testified that they started Good Friday by checking on the traps set for jackal and caracal.

Before leaving for town, Deon Steenkamp had visited his house to hear about the traps.

Another farmworker, Jannie Ludick, testified that the sheepdogs on the Steenkamp farm would bark when anybody visited the house.

Although he had walked to town in the morning, he returned to the farm with the group in Koopman's bakkie in the afternoon.

The case continues.

Read more on:    kimberley  |  griekwastad murders

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